It was a similar situation for Hazel, a physiotherapist who specialised in inpatient care, primarily with patients who had respiratory issues or in the early stages of rehabilitation. Out of clinical practice for 20 years, she had not worked at Eastbourne before: “When COVID started, I knew how busy my colleagues were going to be, I just really wanted to be helpful and do what I do. It’s my job, it’s what I teach. I can’t say why I had to do it – I just did.
“I imagined, like Lesley, that I would be working in ICU but I prefer to talk to people. Although I did some work in ICU, I gravitated to the frailty ward, which was where a lot of people were recovering from COVID.
“If you have the virus, it can knock the stuffing out of you. Just getting some of the patients out of bed was a big deal”.
Both Lesley and Hazel, colleagues in the School of Health Sciences, found the secondment incredibly rewarding.
Lesley said: “I was anxious that my skills were rusty and that I hadn’t done it for a long time, but it felt like the right thing to do. It was amazing that there were nurses who’d been redeployed with little to no experience of ICU – they really stepped up.